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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  February 11, 2013 8:00am-9:00am PST

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i'm ashley banfield and we're tracking breaking news. we start in wilmington, delaware. a shooting at a courthouse. this is the scene currently as we look at it. there are two women who have been killed and the alleged gunman also killed in a shoot-out with officers there. two officers also hurt in this incident. the details of who the alleged gunman is and why he may have opened fire still not known to us. but we're following this very carefully, two capital police officers they're called there in delaware. delaware capital police officers injured. and we're watching to see the significance of their injuries, as well. we'll update you as we got more information. but there you have it, three dead in a courthouse shooting there. and now to a shocker out of vatican city. pope benedict xvi stepping down. he'll retire at the end of the month in order to late younger man take over as pope.
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here is part of the resignation letter. i have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to be adequate exercise of the petri there. e ministry. i thank you most sincerely for all of the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and i ask pardon for all my defects. here is reaction from the archbishop of new york, high he ranking catholic in the united states. >> my appreciation for him which was already high is enhanced a bit because with this sense of realism that he has such an esteem for the office of the successor of st. peter which is what the pope is the bishop of that perhaps i'm not up to it and i can best serve jesus and his people by stepping aside. so i have to admire him
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immensely. >> and the cardinal was surprised. bill dolan is the catholic league president. surprised, a cardinal finding out via matt lauer on a telephone call, i have to ask you, does this sound like there is something up when the most important people to the pope were not informed of this? >> the only thing i can guess is that we've had some leaks from butlers and others in the vatican and perhaps the pope wanted to make sure i'm going to play this very close to the vest. it is unusual. no question about it. but i agree with cardinal dolan, he's to be commended. after all, we know his predecessor, john paul ii, wasn't this good health for the last several months and people wondered would it be time for him to step down. he's done the noble thing. >> and you know of course people will speculate right away is this the noble thing, is it truly what he's saying. or is it something more to which you were alluding earlier, there has been so many crises during
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his papacy, the butler who leaked the documents, the book written because of it with all the problems, financial problems. you can't use a credit card right now at the vatican because the banks are suspicious of money laundering. there are a lot of problems within the vatican. do you suspect that could have anything to do with this? >> i think all of that and more quite frankly. he's 85 years of age. how many world leaders function at 85. >> we've had popes who was too old, too sick to almost even speak and yet went to his death reigning as pope. >> and i think this is better. from one lay american's perspective, i don't think we want to see another instance as much as we love pope john paul ii, his last closing month wills were not good. let's face it. he looked imfeebl.
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this pope is saying -- he's a humble man. how many world leaders would do something of this nature. >> whys that taken 600 years to company to this pragmatic realization i'm not capable, therefore, i must step down? first time in six centuries. >> quite frankly, most popes vice president li haven't lived this long. pope john paul ii was named at age 58. you may see a person chosen in his 60s. we all knew that in 2005 that phone benedict and his old age already wasn't going to be around for decades and decades. >> the fact that the pope tweets is -- i love that. that's really a recent development. but his last tweet said this, we must trust in the mighty power of god's mercy. we are all sinners. but his grace transforms us and makes us new. am i to read anything into this last tweet about us all being sinners or is this just typical? >> what did he say about the
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problem of priestly sexual abuse before he became pope? he said we got to get rid of the filth. that was the word he used. these priests who would dare molest anybody. so he was an outspoken man. he knows we're all sinners. the pope himself goes to confession. he understands that. but he also understands most priests are good men and to have their name and their hair damage be smernlged -- >> i can't imagine the person who listens to the pope's confession. what a remarkable thing. bill, thank you for taking the time. and we'll be talking more as we look towards the new selection process in the next couple of months. so clearly the story is not over. this is such a surprising resignation. a little later in the hour, we'll have further information about how this came about and what happens next. and then the legacy of this pope, as well. i want to move now, though, to
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the story that has plagued us, but is moving across the country. weather. thousands of people are now without power. dozens of people hurt in mississippi. and when this massive tornado you're seeing on the left part of your screen ripped through that state, two people ended up in critical condition. and thank the lord despite the pictures you're seeing, no one reported dead thus far. we're talking widespread damage, though. the governor declaring a state of emergency for four counties. you can see them on your screen. governor holding a news conference moments ago to update the press and the public. let's get to victor blackwell on the ground in hattiesburg, mississippi. you can give me a rundown on the latest of the damage given what i see behind you, it has to be significant. >> reporter: the damage is sporadic but significant. this is on the campus of the university of southern mississippi. what you hear is the saw in the
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background clearing the debris. but this building is 100 years old, one of the five original buildings on this campus. and this is representative of some of the damage we're seeing here. the most important concern right now is getting people back into their homes. the governor said just a few minutes ago go that there were 200 homes damaged, 100 apartments uninhabitable. so they now have to find places for some of these people to go. >> i heard public schools are closed in the area, but tell me about the university of mississippi and the kind of damage sustained there. >> reporter: yeah, public schools here closed. the damage here, we're told that about five or six buildings here on this end of the campus were damaged. there are trees uprooted being cleared. you can hear them kind of chopping up some of the branches here. but most of the campus is fine. and i want to show you just how
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random the damage is. you've seen this building. right over here, this is one of the female dormitories on campus. not damaged at all. did not lose power. fortunately because there are some students here on campus, there were students who left campus because mardi gras is tomorrow. so classes have been canceled for today and tomorrow, they will be back in class on wednesday. >> all right. university of southern mississippi, i need to be very careful when i said university of mississippi. this is university of southern mississippi. victor blackwell, thank you you. and i want to mention this has been such a big weather story for the last four days, that monster nor'easter that we were talking about up until this tornado, that was a nor'easter that dumped more than three feet of snow on parts of the northeast. it may have come and gone, but here are the pictures and the proof. the hardest hit state, connecticut, believe it or not still bracing for more.
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and freezing rain now expected in parts of that state. george howell joins me live from hamden, connecticut. a whopping 40 inches of snow. that's a record for a lot of people in that area. the national weather service weighing in on that, as well. tell me about those drifts. and i think i saw you on like a 20 foot tall snow bank earlier morning. >> reporter: yeah, we're on one of those snow mounds right now in fact. this one may be five feet high. and you find these everywhere. just so much snow out here. you mentioned cars that were covered. there are so many cars and neighborhoods that are still covered in snow, people haven't even gotten around to digging those cars out. and keep in mind, it has been a rough situation here. of the nine people who died in accidents related to this storm, five have been in connecticut. this area really one of the hardest hit. and what we have right now, you're getting the rain coming down. it's creating a real slushy
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nasty situation here on the roads in hamden. and also it's above freezing, so that's the good news. no black ice on the road. it's also starting to compress a the lot of these snow mounds like the one that i'm on now. that will help the cleanup. but still just sort of a messy slushy situation out here. >> so i was commuting in this morning, and i guess up very early as i believe you do, as well. and i was terrified about the black ice because i know you just mentioned, i can see the drips in front of your camera, we're above freezing so a lot is melting, but overnight those temperatures drop precipitously and everything on the ground freezes effectively making shoveling, concrete and driving skating rings. >> reporter: so dangerous. in fact i was doing a live shot this morning for "early start" and i showed what it was like on the black ice. we almost fell several times just walking around out here. the good news again, though,
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looking at the forecast, looking at the temperatures, it will be above freezing so very likely your commute back in to connecticut will be better than it was driving down into cnn new york this morning. >> so here is my question for you, mr. southerner. someone told me don't worry about shoveling out your car, the rain will do the job for you. i believe that's not necessarily the case. like i said, it does turn the snow into concrete. but truly, how long is it looking for everybody who is in that vicinity to get cleared out to the point of functioning well? >> reporter: this could take days. i spoke with the mayor this morning and he said a week, maybe locknger than that, becau it will take time to go in for the neighborhoods and plow the roads out. they're pay loaders that come in and scoop a lot of the snow out. but one they think we're finding in these neighborhoods when you talk to people, it's neighbors helping neighbor, people doing it themselves. like javier rodriguez, listen to what he had for say. >> this is definitely the worse
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we've seen. i know three years ago it was bad, but not in one storm like this. i'm kind of getting crazy over here in the house. i'd actually rather be at school for once. >> reporter: that's the thing, people who have been trapped in their homes for 72 hours, you might go a little stir crazy. so got news is we are getting rain. it's not the freezing rain we saw this morning. it is rain, compressing a lot of the snow mounds. and making for slush on the roads. really the biggest problem i think you'll find today will be flooding as the snow melts. >> george howell, as your friend and as a mother of two boys, you put your hat on young man if you get these snow assignments. >> reporter: got it. >> he's not far from where i live. thank you, sir. appreciate that. $1 million, that is the award that the los angeles police are offering for the capture of christopher dorner, the fired los angeles policeman who is accused of killing three
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people, including an l.a. cop. a massive manhunt now in its second week. l.a.'s police chief saying that he's reopening the case that led to dorner's firing back in 2007. we'll talk more about this with our legal experts later in the program. the trial of jodi arias reassumes today with the 32-year-old testifying for three days last week on the stand, she revealed some very sordid details about her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, travis alexander, who she is accused of brutally murdering. we are live streaming that trial on as she gets ready to take the stand yet again. in texas, thousands of people expected at a memorial service today for chris kyle. you may remember he's the former navy s.e.a.l. and iraq war veteran who was shot to death at a shooting range. eddie ray routh, another ir vet, charged with killing kyle as well as kyle's friend earlier
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this month. some terrifying moments aboard a cruise ship. fire knocking out the engine and stopping that boat from being able to move. they are adrift 4,000 people in the gulf of mexico. we have a live report flex. mine was earned in djibouti, africa, 2004. the battle of bataan, 1942. [ all ] fort benning, georgia, in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment
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for more than 4,000 people aboard a cruise ship in the gulf of mexico, a dream vacation is not a dream, it's a nightmare instead. a fire erupted in the engine room yesterday as this ship, the carnival triumph, was just off the okay tan peninsula and then boom outgo the engines. on the fire was put out. thankfully no one hurt.tan peni boom outgo the engines. on the fire was put out. thankfully no one hurt. it is not fun being on a boat when it's dead in the water. sandra endo has been monitoring the developments. so when fires take out engines, they also take out power on which times which means they take out air conditioning. what are they doing about all these passengers on the ship? >> well, certainly an uncomfortable situation for a lot of the passengers on board. we just got off the phone with the coast guard commander on the scene who tells us they are closely monitoring the carnival ship adrift.
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right now there are no details on what caused the fire last night, but the triumph is waiting for two tugboats expected to get here this afternoon to tow the vessel to the closest port which is progresso, mexico. it was on a four day voyage from galveston to cozumel, but the fire broke out during its journey back to texas. luckily no injuries reported and right now the cruise ship is positioned around 140 months off the yucatan peninsula and is drifting two miles an hour to the northeast. the coast guard says it's in stap constant contact with the crew on board. >> right now we're monitoring the situation. we've been in constant communication with the master of the triumph. right now they have everything under control. they're not requesting any assistance at this time. so we're standing by to provide it. >> a carnival spokesperson said emergency generators are up and running and people on board do have ample food and water and
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even more provisions were transferred last night on to the triumph from one of its sister ships. and more are expected to arrive this afternoon. and the coast guard says a passenger on board who does need medical assistance will be transferred off the ship this afternoon. the biggest inconvenience for all these passengers, toilets. they are only operational in the front half of the vessel. listen to the husband of one of the passengers. >> she was crying and stuff and said they had no power, they had no running water, they had no way to use the bathroom. if they would tell you the truth, it would not be so bad. >> so clearly an unfortunate situation for so many of those passengers. we're told once they get to progresso, mexico, they will be flown back to the united states of course on the carnival's dime and they will be refunded for
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their cruise ship. >> i hate to smile because i know you said no injuries, but when you have 4200 people in a really small space that's nice and hot and the toilets aren't working very well, you might get some injuries. how long will it take for them to ghetet towed to shore? >> they'll probably get to mexico on wednesday, so it will be a little while to get towed over there and then fly back to the united states. so clearly a little more of an ordeal. they were expected to be back in texas today. so not so comfortable situation. >> that wife will get back to her husband and say i'm sorry i needed a trip away from you. sandra endo, thank you very much. cnn of course will keep you updated on all of the efforts to get the stranded passengers off of the carnival triumph and safely to dry land. even if it's not with us. [ ding ] oh, that's helpful! well, our company does that, too.
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get your popcorn ready because tomorrow night is the big state of the union speech and we have it covered end toe . one of the special guests who is
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attending the state of the union with the first lady is a man by the name of clint romesha. if you did tonight kndon't know his name, you should. he is a true american hero. way more brave than nip you know. one of only four surviving soldiers from the wars in iraq and afghanistan to be awarded with the distinguished medal of honor and he's getting that medal today. here's why. back in october of 2009, romesha and about 52 other troops were stationed at a military outpost in eastern afghanistan. just look at your screen and look at what they were enduring. they came under an intense attack from hundreds of taliban fighters. those fighters ran right through the camp while they were still in it. roughly half of those troops were either killed or injured while trying to fight off the taliban. half of those american troops. but it could have been so much worse if clint romesha hadn't gone above and beyond to rescue, protect and even try to retrieve the bodies of his comrades who
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did not survive. jake tapper joins me now. jake, i know you have a great relationship with romesha, you've been to his home now in north dakota where he works in the oilfields. and watching you interview him was absolutely gripping. i think because he doesn't have the bravado of someone i would sxu expect should. >> he's a very humble guy. he spends a lot of time talking about -- and i've known him now for a long time, since 2010 when i started writing a book about the battle at keating. he talks about the buddies that served under him, he talks about the eight men who did not make it out of that camp alive because of that devastating attack by the fall ban. we also talked about what it was like when he finally got that phone call from president obama one day. >> when i picked up the phone on the unavailable number that
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popped up and the secretary was on the other line, she asked me if this is clint romesha and i confirmed yes and she told me plb would li president obama would like for talk to you. at this point just sitting there going okay. i'm just clint romesha. this is weird. >> are you uncomfortable receiving the medal of honor? >> i was doing a job. and i know that there are so many great soldiers out there that would have stepped into my should yous and do shoes and done the same thing. i just feel that i just did a job. >> and that is exactly what he's like in private as well. i've known him since 2010. and that's how he speaks. he's a man of unbelievable
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humility and modesty. somebody very uncomfortable being thrust into the limelight. yet he knows this is a special event not the just for him, but for all of the soldiers and also for the families. especially those parents and wives and children of those troops who did not make it home. >> and so, jake, as i watch you ask him questions about the details of that attack, he struggles to keep it together when talking about the guys. not necessarily the strategies. he's crystal clear so why he made decisions that he did. but he starts talking about the guys in first person, it's really hard to watch. is it just that he can't go back there, he can't be in that moment anymore, that that was 2009 and this is now? >> he's pretty healthy as these
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guys go. of the 44 who survived, there was one guy who later on overdosed. he had really bad ptsd. he's pretty good, clint romesha, at dealing with his war memories. he was emotional in the interview mainly because he and i have been friends and have been talking about this battle flou for years. but one of the things that haunts him is the fact that friends of his did not make it out alive, specifically sergeant justin giagos who he tried to save. and clint romesha is very tough on himself and he knows he is. he talks about the guys that he was not able to save, not necessarily the ones that he was able to save. and that still haunts him, yes. >> and seeing him so committed to getting the bodies, despite the danger, getting the beds so that the taliban wouldn't get the bodies of his friends.
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it was an awesome documentary and great book. so congratulations. you can see the medal of honor ceremony right here live at 1:45 p.m. eastern this afternoon. and then also coming up after the break, another story. we'll take you to the funeral of the most lethal sniper in u.s. history, chris kyle, a man cut down, murdered at a gun range by a fellow veteran. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] what's the point of an epa estimated 42 miles per gallon if the miles aren't interesting? the lexus ct hybrid. this is the pursuit of perfection. yeah we both relieve coughs, sneezing, aches, fevers.
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sacrifice and service defined chris kyle's life. and he was navy s.e.a.l., a decorated sniper, gunned down by a fellow iraq veteran at a texas shooting range earlier this month. today thousands are packing into cowboys stadium to remember him. and if you wonder why, so many people called kyle a hero, are you about to find out. here is ed lavendera. >> reporter: friends describe chris kyle as a larger than life texan. he was considered the most lethal sniper in understand military history. he had at least 160 confirmed kills during four tours of duty in the iraq war. >> my only regrets are the guys i couldn't save. but every shot i took, i felt extremely justified. >> reporter: he wrote in his autobiography american sniper that killing so many people never bothered him. you do at the wrote so that the enemy won't kill you or your country men. you do it until there's no one left for you to kill.
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that's what war is and i loved what i did. >> he was a guardian of the marines when he was deployed. and when he came home, he remained a guardian. >> reporter: chris kyle's mill it taker career almost never happened. a texas kid who dreamed of ranching and rodeos. he was seriously injured when a bucking bronco flipped on top of him. doctors had to put screws in his wrist. so the first time he tried to join the navy, he failed the physical. but eventually the navy changed its mind and kyle was on the way to becoming a navy s.e.a.l.. kyle's battlefield conquests are legendary. his book tells the story of looking through the cross hairs of his krifl, seeing an iraqi insurgent preparing to fire a rocket on an american convoy. kyle shot and killed the insurgent from 2100 yards away. he joked with comedian conan o'brien that it was a lucky shot. >> i definitely cheated, i used ballistic computer that tells me everything to come, so i'm just a monkey on a gun.
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>> well, i wouldn't go that far. >> reporter: but war taught fire that he was not invincible. he wrote about being shot twice, his life saved by his medical met and a plate of body armor. the intensity of war made transitioning to civilian life difficult. >> it's tough. you go from being military to civili civilian. our job identifies who we are. it's horrible, doing it for the greater good, and all of a sudden you don't have an identity, you have to learn a whole new way to act because you can't act the same way we do at work out in public. people think you're a savage or something. >> reporter: chris kyle started a security business, but his most important work was helping fellow war veterans battle post-traumatic stress disorder. and that's what apparently brought him to a gun range with his alleged killer, eddie ray routh. >> he was going there to get this kid to hang out with him to get his mind off of whatever it
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was on and just have a good time, just on get him out of the house. he was there to hang out with him as a fellow veteran. >> reporter: chris kyle saw his life duty of watching over fellow soldiers in harm's way. he proved toward the end of his life that he didn't always need a sniper's rifle to do that. and as his friends described him, a rnlarger than life texan the funeral services held at the cowboys stadium in just a few hours. and interestingly enough, the eulogies will take place on the 50 yard line right there on the dallas cowboys star in the middle of the field. and all of this will end tomorrow, his body will thenbur they're asking people to line the streets. >> i'm glad they chose a venue
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that big. he's a hero to them and the rest of us. ed lavin daendera, thank you. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! so i used my citi thankyou card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? and with all the points i've been earning, i was able to get us a flight to our favorite climbing spot even on a holiday weekend. ♪ things are definitely looking up. [ male announcer ] with no blackout dates, you can use your citi thankyou points
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more now on the massive manhunt in southern california it for christopher dorner, the fired l.a. policeman accused of killing there's people. los angeles is now offering $1 million for his capture and the police chief has decided to reopen the case that led to dorner's firing in the first place back in 2007. joining us our legal team. judge hatchet was the first african-american woman to be named chief presiding judge. paul, police offices seen taking ten grocery bagged sized bags of evidence out of his mother's house.
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weigh in on what they might have been able to retrieve from her house and why it would matter in the search for where he is now. >> well, anytime police are looking for a fugitive, they're looking for clues as to whether he might travel next. and certainly, you know, people have a tendency to reach out to their relatives. maybe not his mother, it would be too obvious. maybe consist susins or people e in other states. so ecertainly you might find clues. maybe he was planning the crime using the computer or other things at the home. >> planning for a prosecution possibly. >> the idea that the l.a. police chief is calling this technical a domestic act of terrorism, we're already seeing the $1 million reward being offered, does this change the dynamics of the game at this point in the hunt for this suspect? >> well, i certainly think it's possible. now you will have the resources
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perhaps of the federal government coming to bear and not only the lapd. so framing it in that way can be helpful to law enforcement. and i also think sort of piggybacking on what paul said, i think at this point it's a desperate manhunt, but they need to understand what his motivations are. and you have the fbi profilers that can help with that. i think they're probably the best in the world at that. and the evidence that they took out of his mother's home is likely to help frame what motivates this guy to do it. yes, we've learned a lot from the manifesto, but i don't think that's enough because they still haven't found him. >> and glenda, in all your years of going what you do, i suppose this won't surprise you, but there are support groups for dorner popping up online. facebook pages, one person saying i propose electing a man for president actually who could no longer sit idly by and watch
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his malicious tyrants abuse the innocent. again, someone supporting dorner who allegedly killed family members of police to make his case. does anything like this surprise you when you see people like this showing up? >> it doesn't surprise me. i've been on the bench for years and years and it doesn't surprise me, but i do think it will be very interesting because this million dollar reward may well flush out some people who might have otherwise been sympathetic to him. we know the l.a. police department has had a history of some questionable incidents. so it doesn't surprise me that there are people on the fringe who really are sympathetic and these sites are popping up. >> i want the three of to you hold on because i have more questions for you coming up. a quick programming note, as well. you can go inside the mind of an ex-cop and accused killer, the manhunt for christopher dorner tonight at 8:00. rt you - you sing to♪
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call now and also ask about our 24/7 support and service. call... and lock in your rate for 12 months today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? prepare e smoke. we're going to have a new pope. the current pope benedict has tendered his resignation. he says it's because of his age and his health. the pope's brother tells cnn that the two of them have actually been discussing the resignation for some time now. pope benedict turns 86 years old this coming april and joining me now is miguel diaz former u.s. ambassador to the vatican who recently in fact as recently as
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november was with the pope observing his holiness firsthand. he is now professor of faith and culture at the university of dayton. and also from the miami bureau is our guest father albert cutier who is a former roman catholic. he's also the author of dilemma, a priest's struggle with faith and love. he struggled with the faith and left the church to be with his now wife. the cardinal here in new york was as sounded by this, found out from matt lauer essentially. but you're not so surprised, why. >> i woke up this morning with the news. for it a number of years in fact, the last couple of years, there's been speculation about this possibility. the pope himself spoke about this in his book whether it was
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asked whether it was possible for a pope to step down and he said surely for a number of reasons, including the reasons that he has named and stated for stepping down. a pope should in fact sometimes has the obligation to step down. so i do -- i'm not surprised that pope benedict has decided to step down. >> and father cutier, i want you to weigh in on the timing of all of this. we are right before easter and lent. is there anything to that? i think some people are curious that there might be something who are going on than just ill health, time to go. >> well, lent is a time conversion and change so timing is interesting because obviously we're all in this process of conversion together. i want to tell you that pope benedict who i had the pleasure to meet on several occasions always struck me as a man that was more of an intellectual, more of an academic person than a pastoral person. he wasn't much of a media
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person, wasn't much of a big communicator. but he is a man ideas. so maybe what he's trying to tell the world is i'm stepping down because my time has come and it hasn't happened since the 1400s, but there's no reason why it can't happen. what's strange about it for me is there's a provision in canon law that most bishops use when there is a reason to step down. that's what's odd about the way the announcement came about. why resign for health reasons if the pope looks to be in perfectly good health and even the spokesperson hasn't identified a specific ill thnes. >> miguel, maybe you can weigh in on that. since you were with him in november. what was your take on his health? we're going from a penultimate pope being encapable of speaking and thinking that was a good reason to step down and he
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didn't to this pope who seems to be in good health. >> i think this is a moment of an action of great grace that has in many ways given permission for future popes to recognize especially in this modern era that we live in where we live longer. it's a wonderful gesture and wonderful example to recognize both as transcendants and limitations of the human body. and we've seen how the pope has -- his fatigue in terms of his engagements. so any one of us in our 40s or 50s begin already to feel some weight of activity.
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imagine the pope who travels so much and who has so much of a -- such a busy schedule on his plate. so in that sense -- >> of course. and i've always been surprised as a layperson that it's taken 600 years for people to come to that logistics realization. miguel diaz and father cutier, thank you both for weighing in on this and joining us as our guests today. and for more on benedict's resignation and his history and of course his legacy, check out the battle of bataan, 1942. [ all ] fort benning, georgia, in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto-insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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if you are one of those people who lives in fear of a cyber thug stealing your identity running up bills
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running down your credit you are object alone. but as it turps out you now have one more thing to worry about the people responsible for collecting your credit information and assessing it. that ends up determining your credit score, they are often doing as much damage to your good name as the identity thieves themselves. the government has come out with a study of the big credit rating agencies and discovered they have botched the credit reports for more than 40 million of us. christine romans is here to talk about what to do about this. do we have recourse, if we discover they have done this? >> absolutely. the fact is there are a lot of mistakes out there, but most of them are meaningless mistakes, like a different address on your account, a misspelling, divorce is a fodder for mistakes, because suddenly you think you split up credit cards with your ex-spouse but if they are not paying for it it ends up on your report. the ftc found 42 million people have errors on their credit history.
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and 4.4 million have errors that lead to more expensive credit when they boary money to buy a house or to -- that's the fair credit reporting act you saw. that's the law. >> this is huge. listen, anybody who wants to get a refinance right now and take advantage of these low interest rates, because they are starting to go up, if they don't know that a credit agency has botched their credit score -- >> it's your responsibility to make sure you have all of the right information. why? it's not necessarily the credit agency that botched the score. it is quite possibly the vendor made a mistake. for example the lender maybe a credit card you had that you forgot about or maybe it's an identity thief. every year you go to annual credit by law, you can get your credit history. if you are going to borrow money, the ftc says, also the credit rating, i spoke to a spokesman, the president of the trade association for these groups, you check, and then if there is a mistake, then you go
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through line by line, and you dispute what is wrong. >> i hear it's an absolute nightmare, just like trying to fix what an identity thief does to you to get these credit agencies to fix what they may have -- >> i don't want to dissuade anybody. you should try to fix it. sometimes it's not easy, you go through the fair credit reporting act process, because it's the law they have to clean it up. >> i want to bring in paul callan who works with us, he's our cnn legal contributor. paul, the fair credit reporting act as christine was alluding to states this. and i will read it verbatim. that a credit agency must conduct a reasonable investigation to determine whether the disputed information is inaccurate. and the ohio attorney general went even further saying that that is not happening. he says that there is some criminal stuff going on. have a listen. >> i think they are breaking the law. there's no doubt in my mind, they are breaking the law. >> paul callan, breaking the
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law? these big agencies and we are not talking small agencies, we are talking about equifax. breaking the law? what does that mean for them? can i sue them if they botched my report? >> reporter: of corselet attorney general is saying something that i think everybody knows. and that is it's hard for consumers to get the attention of these agencies to fix their credit ratings, why would that be? because consumers aren't paying them. their customers are the credit card companies, the banks, people who prepare credit. so you have to get their attention. this law, the law that currently is on the books now, the fair credit law has got some real teeth to it in some areas. one area is you can walk into a lawyer's office and get a lawyer to take that case for you, even if you only have a small amount of damages, because he can collect his attorney's fees back and make thousands of dollars on $100 case. so there's a possibility of class action lawsuits as well. >> and i shouldn't single out
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just equifax, trance union is another major one noted. i have to cut it off. just sheer time. paul, there are so many questions. thank you and christine. we are back right after this. uh, i'm in a timeout because apparently riding the dog like it's a small horse is frowned upon in this establishment! luckily though, ya know, i conceal this bad boy underneath my blanket just so i can get on e-trade. check my investment portfolio, research stocks... wait, why are you taking... oh, i see...solitary. just a man and his thoughts.
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